Monday, February 28, 2011

CCMC LAUNCHES 2011 MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

son County Progressive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Concerned Citizens of Mason County
Announces Changes to the Board of Directors

-- Launches Membership Drive for 2011 --

Date: February 26, 2011


From: Concerned Citizens of Mason County

Press Contact: Beth McBain, Green Time Marketing - 360-432-8203

Concerned Citizens of Mason County anticipates a busy spring as they prepare for Mason County’s Department of Community Planning to announce their determination on the revised SEPA application from ADAGE Mason, LLC. CCMC, which is comprised of a group of local volunteers, will again help set the pace for the community’s response to the determination.

The outcome, based on the County’s review of the latest series of revisions to the complex SEPA application, will help determine the ability of the out-of-state energy giant, Duke/Areva/ADAGE, to move forward with its plan to build a 65 Mw Electricity Generation Plant located off John’s Prairie Road adjacent to homes, a K-8 school and the MCRA athletic playfields. The facility would cover just under 100 acres and would burn 600,000 tons of woody biomass each year as its source of fuel.


Other recent actions taken by
CCMC include the filing of an appeal of the decision made in January by Mason County Superior Court Judge, Amber Finlay. The original suit was brought by CCMC against the Port of Shelton for signing the Option to Lease Port property to ADAGE without waiting for the SEPA process to be completed, so that Port Commissioners could take the time to learn if there were any environmental impacts that should be taken into account before they entered into the Option to Ground Lease. The case will be heard in a higher court, most likely in Pierce County, later this year.

In an effort of involve the many supporters of
Concerned Citizens of Mason County in a more organized way, CCMC has launched it first membership drive. “We are in the process of expanding our network so that we can provide better methods of communication. When direct action or quick response is required we’ll have programs in place to get the word out,” says Beth McBain, outgoing chair of the CCMC’s Board of Directors. She went on to add, “We now realize that we are not only serving the residents of Mason County but an increasing number of people who have a strong interest in what’s happening here in our community. With up to twenty biomass facilities in various stages of the permitting process in western Washington alone, the outcome of what happens with the ADAGE project will have far-reaching impact throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

Leadership changes for
CCMC’s Board of Directors will also go into effect during February. Fran Prescott, formerly Government and Community Relations, will move into the role of Chairperson. Warren Hoffman will manage finance as the group’s new Treasurer. Outgoing Chair, Beth McBain, will continue to work closely with the group as well as the newly formed state-wide organization, Concerned Citizens of Washington.

For more information contact: Beth McBain 350-432-8203 or Fran Prescott 360-868-2251

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

CCMC
will be hosting a Public Information Meeting on Wednesday, March 9th, from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Shelton Civic Center. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nippon Paper Mill Not Meeting New EPA Rules

Excerpts from:
New federal air pollution regulations
a challenge for Nippon paper mill

By Tom Callis

PORT ANGELES — It will be a challenge for the Nippon paper mill to meet new federal air pollution rules for its planned biomass cogeneration upgrade, said the facility's environmental manager. The new boiler that Nippon Paper Industries USA plans to install next year would not meet new requirements for carbon monoxide and particulates, Paul Perlwitz said.

That's despite the new regulations, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency last week, being less stringent overall than those previously proposed. Perlwitz said the 
$71 million boiler has been designed to meet the regulations EPA was proposing last year, which were less restrictive when it came to emissions of carbon monoxide and particulates. “We're getting to believe that EPA may have made an error,” he said.

The emission rules are separate from the greenhouse gas regulations EPA enacted last month. Those new rules do not apply to biomass boilers.

Port Townsend Paper Corp. is also planning a biomass boiler upgrade. The $55 million project would generate up to 24 megawatts of power, which the facility could sell. Company officials could not be reached for comment on the new EPA regulations.

A permit for Nippon's new boiler has been appealed to the state Shoreline Hearings Board by six environmental groups. The groups appealing the Nippon permit are No Biomass Burn, Port Townsend AirWatchers, World Temperate Rainforest Network, Olympic Environmental Council, Olympic Forest Coalition and the state chapter of the Sierra Club. Five of the same groups — excluding the Sierra Club — also have appealed the Port Townsend mill's project.

Link to complete article:
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011302279976

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Biomass Burning Can Bankrupt WA Ecosystem

BIOMASS BURNING NOT A SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE
PLEASE SIGN ONLINE PETITION!

Petition endorsement statement and photo by Paul Stamets

The push for biomass burning of 'useless litter' can ecologically bankrupt a forest ecosystem. What these economic calculations fail to consider is that litter and wood debris in a forest is a substrate-rich habitat for myriad interlacing membranes of mycelium, creating cellular matrices that support complex soil biodiversity.

As litter-fall accumulates, carbon is being sequestered: in the soils, in the litter, and subsequently in the trees/plants that flourish. If an ecosystem's biomass is removed in the interests of short-term-gain burning, long-term losses are quickly incurred - not only on the immediate ecosystem, but in downstream ecosystems as well.

The forest litter and its associated populations are excellent bio-filters, reducing erosion, siltation, and support insects - all helping protect fisheries. This is just one thread of many that will be destroyed by the rush for stripping the forests of burnable biomass.

I urge you to study this issue, paying particular attention that this is not a sustainable practice, has no safeguards in place to prevent over-exploitation, and is based on what I believe are false premises and myopic viewpoints.

If you feel as I do, please sign this petition.

LINK TO SIGN ONLINE PETITION TO STOP BIOMASS INDUSTRY IN WA:
http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-biomass-industry-from-destroying-forests-in-washington-state

Article & Photo "Turkey Tail Plug Spawn" by Paul Stamets posted w/permission

Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over thirty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He has written six books on mushroom cultivation, use and identification; his books "Growing Gourmet and Medicinal" and "The Mushroom Cultivator" (coauthor) have long been hailed as the definitive texts of mushroom cultivation. His newest book is "Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World".

Link to Paul Stamet's website:

www.fungi.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Local Officials Say Community Is Doing Great

Elected Leaders Clueless About Lives Of Ordinary Citizens

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price
Mason County Progressive

If you have ever read a Journal article that made you want to tear your own head off, you will not want to read this week's Journal (2-24-11).

There is a photo on Page 1 of Mayor John Tarrant, County Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson and everyone's least favorite Port Commissioner, Jay Hupp. The article accompanying this photo is titled: "Optimistic about state of community," and leads off: "According to local officials, the state of our community is better than good, it's great."

Granted, this was a Chamber Pot (Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce) February membership meeting, and they were slapping each other on the back and glad-handing each other because as far as folks like Lynda Ring Erickson and Jay Hupp are concerned they, and their friends, are doing just "great". Maybe we ought to have an alternative Chamber Pot meeting, invite the Journal reporters, and let some of the other citizens of Mason County share their current "success" stories...

This article, and the meeting, and the 1/4 page photograph of Jay Hupp on Page 7, reinforce what is most wrong with our community: Our elected leaders are clueless when it comes to what is happening in the lives of the ordinary citizens of Mason County. They and their friends are doing great, so all of Mason County is doing great.

Near the end of the article there is a statement about the November election: "...a Port Commissioner position will be up for grabs..." Would that be the seat presently occupied by Jack Miles? Up for grabs? Hmmmm.

Jay Hupp proves he is ever the optimist as the article ends with a quote from Jay about the general day-to-day business at the Port: "I can give you three words: Fun, exciting and challenging."

Fellow air-breathers, let's make sure that Jay Hupp has the fun, exciting and challenging days he is expecting at the Port!

Keep it light.


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to 2/24/11 Shelton-Mason County Journal:
http://www.masoncounty.com/?cat=5

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WI Workers Solidarity Rally in Olympia 2/21/11

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox and Christine Armond Mason County Progressive
WHAT DOES DEMOCRACY LOOK LIKE IN WA?

WA State Patrol estimated that 2,000 people rallied under the Capitol
Dome to show solidarity with state workers in Wisconsin in their stand-off
with WI Gov. Scott Walker
and his plan to eliminate collective bargaining.


WA state employees and supporters chanted, sang songs, held
banners & waved
signs as they rallied around the capitol grounds.


WA State PTA joined the rally to ask state legislators to
protect
students & schools from budget cuts.


Inside the rotunda, demonstrators gathered to hear speakers,
such as
Ohio's Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich.


Rep. Dennis Kucinich (center of photo at podium), addressed the group
wearing
an American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees
Union T-shirt. He said he hoped the rally in Olympia would ripple
across the country to show solidarity with WI union workers.



Service Employees International Union members (purple) showed up in
such numbers that they
were able to form a ring around the capitol building.


The 4 lone members of the Tea Party attending the rally
were sought out for an interview by KOMO
TV.


"Every worker in America should be concerned about what's happening in
Wisconsin because workers' rights are on the line," said Rep. Kucinich.


"You cannot have a democracy if you don't have people in a position
to be able to negotiate for their wages and to have decent benefits,"
stated Rep. Kucinich. He called Washington a bastion of workers'
rights...
a place where people have the capacity to push back.

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE IN WA!

Photos by John Cox

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Another WI solidarity rally in Olympia is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 26th, 12:00 PM

Link to more information:
http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?rc=rsad_mo&event_id=112827&id=26283-17304946-hEA.JZx&t=5

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Environmental Victory for MA Residents!


IT TOOK 5 YEARS, BUT CITIZENS IN MA WON!
FIGHT ON, FRIENDS!--Duff


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

Excerpts from:
Somerset Station Coal Plant Shuts Down Permanently
Ending Polluting Legacy in Somerset


Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center applaud decision to discard plans to gasify coal and construction and demolition debris at plant site

BOSTON, MA February 23, 2011 – Massachusetts moved one step closer to a coal-free future this week as NRG Energy, Inc., owner of Somerset Station, a coal and oil burning power plant located in Somerset, announced that it will shut the plant down permanently, effective immediately. The 85-year-old plant shut down in January 2010, pending an appeal brought by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Somerset residents to its plans to repower the plant using an experimental technology known as plasma gasification. In early February, NRG asked the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) to withdraw approvals for its plans, saying the company had decided not to pursue its plasma gasification project that would have used fuels including coal, construction and demolition debris and woody biomass. MA DEP granted the request on February 18.

Somerset resident Pauline Rodrigues said, “The residents of Somerset have been breathing easier since Somerset Station ceased spewing toxic air pollution over our community last January. Today, we can all breathe a deep, clean sigh of relief knowing that Somerset Station will not be coming back.”

Meredith Small, executive director, Toxics Action Center, said, “We are thrilled that this community’s tenacious efforts to protect its residents from ongoing harmful pollution were rewarded with this remarkable outcome.”

Tenacious Legal Advocacy and Community Pressure Leads to Shut Down
Since 2007, CLF, in conjunction with Toxics Action Center and Somerset residents, has led a persistent fight to stop toxic air pollution from Somerset Station from harming an already overburdened community. In 2008, CLF filed an appeal in Massachusetts Superior Court to overturn permits issued by the MA DEP approving NRG’s plans to repower the plant using an experimental technology called plasma gasification. CLF maintained that the permits were granted without sufficient environmental review and that the plant’s plans to gasify pulverized coal, biomass and construction and demolition debris posed unknown health and environmental threats to the community. In a move foreshadowing today’s outcome, in November 2009, NRG announced that it would shut down Somerset Station in January, 2010, consistent with the facility’s old permit and nine months before the challenged new permits required the plant to shut down or repower with cleaner emissions. The plant has not operated since January 2, 2010.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. Using the law, science and the market, CLF creates solutions that preserve natural resources, build healthy communities, and sustain a vibrant economy region-wide. Founded in1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization with offices in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Toxics Action Center
is a New England nonprofit that works side by side with neighborhood groups to clean up and prevent toxic pollution. The organization has helped over 650 communities since 1987.

Link to complete article:
http://www.clf.org/newsroom/somerset-station-coal-plant-shuts-down-permanently-ending-pollution-legacy-in-somerset/

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Miles Stands With Citizens of Mason County

Port Commissioner Jack Miles at Thurston County Moratorium Hearing

CLEAN AIR IS AN ABSOLUTE HUMAN RIGHT

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price Mason County Progressive


The Journal's reporting in "Miles' harassment claim dismissed" (2-10-11) and the Journal's "Clarification" (2-17-11) are articles more representative of the FAUX News style of journalism than I had been expecting. Both the initial article, and the so-called "Clarification", were written to put Jack Miles in a bad light. I would like to put Jack Miles in a slightly better light here.

As a Port Commissioner, Jack Miles was uniquely qualified to form an early opinion in connection with the proposed Adage project. His familiarity with the Port's property on Johns Prairie, and the mix of businesses, residences and the MCRA fields gave him reason to question the "fit" of this industry for this area. The environmental degradation a plant this vast above Oakland Bay could cause propelled him to inform himself about the pros and cons of the facility.

After reviewing the papers written by
the American Lung and Heart Associations, Jack concluded that the science did not support placing a plant capable of producing such volumes of pollutants on Johns Prairie.

Jack Also knew that the increased truck traffic to feed the Adage plant would add another layer of air pollution. Jack was concerned about the increased volume of truck traffic that would be passing by the schools, the hospital and the senior living facilities. He saw a nightmare for traffic, with the diesel trucks idling at the stop light by Walmart, backing traffic onto Highway 101, idling at the four way stop, competing for the road with our often impatient teenage drivers travelling to and from school. Jack saw this as a recipe for disaster.

In fact, the more he looked at it, the more Jack believed this project was a poor fit for our community, and he had the audacity to speak openly about his concerns.

Jack Miles is going to receive bad press in Mason County from now until the good old boys club is no longer in charge, because he stands with the citizens of Shelton and Mason County against the people who believe they own Mason County. Folks like:
  • The members of the Mason County Timber Barons, some of whose fine families are represented by some of our elected officials.
  • The EDC, who is congratulating itself for the 24 permanent jobs Adage might bring.
  • The Chamber Pot, who are all gung-ho to "burn-baby-burn."
  • Citizens for a Prosperous Mason County and their fearless leader, Dick Taylor, who all want to sell our air quality for those 24 promised jobs.
Jack stands with the ordinary citizens of Mason County:
  • The citizen groups who have been informing our citizens for ten months about the dangers of burning wood for energy, and who believe that clean air is an absolute human right.
  • The doctors, nurses, and scientists, those pesky "fact-based" people, who know that Adage and the other biomass incinerators, proposed and existing, are an assault on the health of every citizen exposed to their pollution.
  • The children and the grandparents of Mason County.
In fact, Jack believes the children of Mason County should be able to play ball at MCRA without damaging their young lungs, and he believes that we grandmothers should be able to sit and watch our grandchildren play ball at MCRA without damaging our old lungs.

We should not expect to see the Journal report anything positive about Jack Miles in their coverage of the upcoming election for Port of Shelton Commissioner. The Journal, like the rest of Mason County, still belongs to the good old boys.

We newcomers (my family has only been in Mason County since 1940), are going to have to seek elsewhere for accurate information in the coming months.

Keep it light.

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

LINK to letter of clarification to the Journal written by Jack Miles' attorney:
http://myweb.hcc.net/pkands/docs/AttorneyLetter.pdf

Monday, February 21, 2011

A NIMBY's View of Bioma$$ Incineration

The Scales Have Been Rigged

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox Mason County Progressive

Confessions of a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)

Some of the local supporters of biomass incineration are fond of calling people like me, NIMBYs. They think that not wanting an incinerator in my back yard is, somehow, a bad thing. Well, I confess. That's me. I definitely don't want one...or two. And not only do I not want any in my back yard, I don't want any in their back yards either. I don't want any in anybody's back yard. Actually, I just don't want them at all.

I was looking at the Washington Air Quality Advisory gauge on the blog this morning, and started thinking about what it really indicates. This morning the reading was “Moderate” which means that citizens with the following conditions may be sensitive to air pollution at this level and should consider limiting their outdoor activity:
  • those with lung and heart disease, diabetes, or a current respiratory infection
  • those who have had a stroke
It is often worse on clear winter mornings. It is always worse when we have inversions which force the pollution to remain here where it is produced. Then the readings become “Unhealthy” or “Very Unhealthy” which means more and more of our population is subjected to increased health risks. The highest category is called “Hazardous” which we don't see here....yet.

There is no question that particulate matter sized 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) and smaller are a health hazard. The EPA, Washington State, and various medical groups all recognize the problems caused by PM 2.5. Washington's (WAQA) standard says the air is healthy when the PM 2.5 level is less than 13.4 ug/m3. The American Lung Association suggests the level should be 11 or less.

So here's my question:

Why is it that if all the experts know that PM 2.5 levels that are more than 11-13.4 increase our health risks, cause early deaths, etc., does the EPA and ORCAA allow more and more pollution sources to start up in areas that already have a problem? Why is it that here in Shelton where we often see UNHEALTHLY PM 2.5 readings, ORCAA, our politicians, the Chamber Pot and its lackey's all welcome new sources of PM 2.5 in our back yards?

There are people in our community who would welcome ADAGE or another Simpson incinerator with open arms no matter what. It wouldn't matter if ADAGE or Simpson said, “ We want to destroy your lungs. Please help us do it.” They would say, “Yes, I want that. I love that. Bring it on! Welcome to our back yards!”
This seems somewhat crazed and not too bright.

It is fortunate that these YIMBYs (Yes! In My Back Yard!) are not the predominate backyard owners here. It is, however, unfortunate that they tend to gravitate toward positions of power whenever possible. YIMBYs have an overwhelming need to suppress facts, science, and information that they do not agree with. Being in a political office makes that desire a bit easier to achieve. “I want it. Therefore it is good. You don't want it. Therefore you are bad”, seems to sum up the thought process. Check out a County Commissioners' meeting sometime to experience it for yourself.

When a government organization makes a decision about whether or not to support a project in a community that comes with inherent risks, the decision should not be a quick and easy one.
Scientists, economists, academics, and other experts, must be relied upon to assist in making a decision, along with input from the community. After assessing the risks and benefits, theoretically, a decision will be made that will benefit the community.

In the case of biomass incineration, the risks include increased pollution, increased incidence of heath and lung diseases, fewer trees, release of massive amounts of CO2, increased acidification of local waters which will effect the shellfish industry, decreased property values, wasted tax dollars, increased subsidies for corporations (transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy), and of course, there's nothing like the scenic beauty of smokestacks.

The benefits of biomass incineration can be summed up in one word, MONEY. Corporate profits, tax subsidies for local forest owners, donations to political campaigns of supporting politicians and other various forms of payola. The benefit side to the equation is so tied up with money and its corrupting influence, it becomes very difficult to discern the truth.

We've all seen the figure that is used to represent justice—the blindfolded woman holding a scale in her hand. In this context she would be impartially weighing the risks and benefits to determine if biomass incinerators would be a good fit for our community.

I know that lots of my fellow citizens have great faith in this process of weighing risks and benefits. They think that if they can just put enough evidence on their side of the issues, the balance will tilt in their favor, and justice will prevail. A closer look, though, reveals that the scales have been rigged.

It would be more accurate if the scale holder was represented by a politician wearing sunglasses with wads of dollars bills stuffed in his pockets by the Koch Brothers and their surrogates, and he has one of his fat fingers on the scale and calls it progress.

As a card carrying NIMBY, I try to use all the available means at my disposal to overcome the bias of corruption: writing letters, making phone calls, giving testimony at hearings, attending local government meetings, and applying pressure through protests, demonstrations and direct actions. These
are all methods that can used to attempt to reshuffle the stacked deck, and restore balance to the determination process. If the arguments supporting biomass incineration were looked at impartially, they would be clearly exposed as the charade they are.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!

Excerpts from:
'This Is What Democracy Looks Like' in Wisconsin,
as Largest Crowd Yet --80,000--Opposes Union Busting
By John Nichols

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker finished a bad week with a misstep that emphasized his inability to generate support for his attempt to strip the state’s public employees of collective bargaining rights.

First, the governor’s radical proposal went to such extremes in its anti-labor bias that it sparked a protest movement so large, so steady and so determined in its demands that it is now commonly compared with the protests that have rocked Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.


Then, the man that badges worn by marchers describe as “The Mubarak of the Middle West” really blew it. Saturday was supposed to be the day when the governor pushed back against the movement that has challenged his radical power grab. The governor’s Tea Party allies attempted to grab the spotlight with a rally at the state Capital. Unfortunately, the much-hyped event, which national Tea Party groups had poured money and organizing energy into generating, drew an anemic crowd of several thousand. Even by the optimistic estimates of the Tea Partisans themselves, the pro-Walker turnout was one-tenth the size of the crowd that came to oppose the governor’s so-called “budget repair bill.”

The governor made things worse for himself by going on CNN and announcing that he had received 19,000 e-mails from the “quiet majority” of Wisconsinites since he made his proposal and claimed that most of them were supportive.

Dumb move. Really dumb move.


Within hours of making his claim, the streets of Madison were filled by what veteran political organizers described as the largest demonstration ever seen in the city. Former Mayor Paul Soglin, a key organizer of anti–Vietnam War protests, said, “We had some big demonstrations in the sixties, but this is bigger.”


Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Association, which has been a high-profile participant in the demonstrations, surveyed the crowd while recounting Walker’s boast about the 19,000 e-mails.

“I think I have 19,000 people behind me,” said Mitchell.


Pointing to one edge of the massive audience arrayed before him, he said: “And 20,000 there.”
He pointed to the other edge of the crowd: “And 20,000 there.”

Finally, he pointed down State Street, the thoroughfare that stretches from the Capitol to the University of Wisconsin campus, which was packed with students who have backed the unions: “And 20,000 there.”

Link to complete article:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/158745/what-democracy-looks-wisconsin-largest-crowd-yet-80000-opposes-union-busting

WA Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant Approved


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Terri Thompson


Excerpt from:
Regional News for 2/20/11
Washington natural gas-fired power plant OK to expand

Chicago-based Invenergy LLC can move forward with plans to double the capacity of a natural gas-fired power plant in Grays Harbor County.


Gov. Chris Gregoire on Friday approved a state panel's recommendation that the plant in Satsop be allowed to expand from 650 megawatts to 1,300 megawatts. The governor says the project will provide the region with energy benefits without significant environmental effects.

Invenergy wants to add two combustion-turbine generators and a single steam generator. The new permit requires the company to install measures to curb noise levels.

Link to complete article:
http://masoncountydailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1214:regional-news-for-22011&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=106

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Evergreen State a Refuge for WI Senators?

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Joann Curtis

Excerpt from:
Is Washington the refuge for 'Wisconsin 14' lawmakers?

Fourteen Democratic state senators from Wisconsin are on the lam, avoiding a Republican majority vote that would gut collective bargaining rights for many state employees in The Badger State.

But the missing 14 might find a temporary refuge in The Evergreen State. The Washington Federation of State Employees has launched a survey for its members on whether to offer up The Evergreen State as a sanctuary.


The 14 senators are blocking a vote on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal at their state capital in Madison simply by going into hiding. At least one Democrat is needed for a quorum in the 33-seat Wisconsin Senate that has 19 members.

Washington government workers are feeling sympathy.

"It is spreading like wildfire. … Our members have been pushing for this. They've been saying ‘we have to do something to show solidarity for the Wisconsin workers," federation spokesman Tim Welch said today.

Link to complete article:
http://www.theolympian.com/2011/02/17/1547819/is-washington-the-refuge-for-wisconsin.html

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Friday, February 18, 2011

GOLDMARK CHALLENGED TO PUBLIC DEBATE

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox and Christine Armond Mason County Progressive
STOP ALL STATE BIOMASS PROJECTS
DNR DEMONSTRATION 2/16/11

A small number of dedicated activists braved the rain to witness Earth Cop
a.k.a. Duff Badgley deliver a citation to DNR Director Peter Goldmark
to cease & desist his organization's war on the environment.


The presentation of the citation took place inside the lobby
of the Department of Natural Resources office building.

DNR employees took a break to watch from the balcony & office windows.


As Goldmark was "unavailable" to personally participate, his
2nd in command, Leonard Young, DNR Supervisor, received
the Goldmark war on forests cease-and-desist order in his stead.


DNR arranged extra security for the event.


Friendly Earth Cop conversed with friendly security officer.


TCTV, Thurston County public TV, covered the event
& interviewed Earth Cop.



Shelton concerned citizen, Nate Johnson, was also interviewed
by Mike Coday for TCTV.


Pat Rasmussen, World Temperate Rainforest Network &
Olympia activist,
photographed a most memorable sign!


Earth Cop also challenged Goldmark to a one-on-one
public debate on the issue of biomass incineration.
Young said he would deliver the challenge to his superior.



Did you hear that Mr. Goldmark?
Do you accept the challenge?
EARTH COP SHALL RETURN!



SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

To contact Commissioner Peter Goldmark or invite him to a meeting or event:
http://www.dnr.wa.gov/AboutDNR/Pages/commissioner.aspx#invite


Link to No Biomass Burn:
http://www.nobiomassburn.org


Photos by John Cox

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Online Petition to Stop Biomass Industry in WA

SIGN THE PETITION!

THE BIOMASS INDUSTRY FROM DESTROYING
FORESTS IN WASHINGTON STATE

Targeting: The Governor of WA, WA State Senate, and WA State House

Started by: Tom Davis

Forests in the State of Washington are under attack by the predatory biomass industry. Rural, economically depressed, Mason County Washington, located right next to the Olympic National Forest, has been targeted by Adage Mason LLC, a company that seeks to use our forests as fuel for their 65 megawatt incinerator intended to generate electricity to be sold to California.

Adage is a partnership between French based Areva Corp., and Duke Energy. Both companies have dismal environmental records. This massive incinerator will consume over 600,000 tons of wood every year, the equivalent of one mature tree every 53 seconds. And there are 19 existing or proposed plants slated to be built in the South Puget Sound area alone, and up to 250 more planned throughout rural America.

These plants are highly polluting, contributing to respiratory illness, deforestation and global warming. This one plant alone will emit 600,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide and other air pollutants into our air every year.

LINK TO SIGN PETITION:
http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-biomass-industry-from-destroying-forests-in-washington-state

EARTH COP TO RETURN TO DNR!

DNR Dept. Supervisor, Leonard Young
receives a Cease & Desist Order from Earth Cop

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley Mason County Progressive

Earth Cop Shall Return!

The Feb.16th Goldmark protest at DNR in Olympia showed the power of Earth Cop and taking protest right to the office of Biomass Czar Peter Goldmark. Earth Cop said what we are learning is true: Goldmark is the most dangerous man in the state. His biomass policies kill. His biomass policies kill people. His biomass policies stoke climate change. His biomass policies will decimate our forests.

Five cops waited for us in the DNR lobby in Olympia yesterday. The cops showed we had badly rattled Goldmark's cage--literally. Goldmark called the cops on us he was so upset about our protest in his own office building. The cops and a DNR minion waited to meet us. But so did a TV camera crew from TCTV--Thurston County public TV. Look for footage soon on TV and available as a web link.

The cops were friendly. The DNR guy was friendly. They had decided to try to kill us with niceness. But let's remember: there is nothing nice about Goldmark's biomass war on our forests. There is nothing nice about Goldmark's biomass war on our lives. There is nothing nice about Goldmark's biomass war on our climate.

Earth Cop is launched! Goldmark and Adage and Evergreen and Simpson and Port Townsend Paper and Nippon-- BEWARE!!!

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to No Biomass Burn:
http://www.nobiomassburn.org

Photo by John Cox

Demonstrations Delay Passage of WI Bill

Excerpt from:
Wisconsin Democrats flee state to block passage of anti-union bill

Wisconsin Sen. Jon Erpenbach said Democrats, after seeing massive protests, fled to delay consideration of the bill in the hopes that Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers would discuss changes.

Protestors of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's bill to eliminate collective bargaining
rights for many state workers pack the rotunda at the state capitol in Madison.
(Andy Manis / Associated Press)

From the Associated Press


As ever-growing throngs of protesters filled the Capitol for a third day, the 14 Democrats disappeared from the Capitol. They were not in their offices, and aides said they did not know where any of them had gone.

Hours later, one of them told The Associated Press that the group had left Wisconsin.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach said Democrats fled to delay consideration of the bill in the hopes that Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers would discuss changes.

"The plan is to try and slow this down because it's an extreme piece of legislation that's tearing this state apart," Erpenbach told the AP in a telephone interview.

He refused to say where he was. Other Democratic lawmakers sent messages over Twitter and issued written statements, but did not say where they were.

Republicans hold a 19-14 majority in the state Senate, but they need at least one Democrat to be present before taking a vote on the bill.

As Republicans tried to begin Senate business Thursday, observers in the gallery screamed "Freedom! Democracy! Unions!" Opponents cheered when a legislative leader announced that there were not enough senators present to proceed.

Authorities said an estimated 25,000 people participated in Thursday's protest, and nine demonstrators were arrested.

Link to complete article:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-naw-wisconsin-protests-021711,0,1670806.story

Letter to the Journal Re: Poor Health in County

Mason County does not need Adage or Solomon

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Connie Simpson
Mason County Progressive

Feb. 14, 2011

To the Editor Shelton-Mason County Journal:


I am glad to see the Mason County Health Dept. has written a report addressing the poor health of our county. As the fears about further assaults to the health of Mason County citizens has been in the newspaper in the form of letters and articles, including a petition signed by our medical community to the county’s commissioners, it’s about time we heard from those we pay to be concerned about our health.


As reported by this paper; don’t you think it a little disingenuous that not one word was mentioned about the ill effects to the human heart and lungs from the smoke stacks (emissions) in our down town, or did the paper leave that out? Not mentioning the air pollution that already exists here puts a question mark on the validity of the report. Why not address the elephant in the room? Was the Health Dept. advised against including air pollution from the diesel trucks that supply the smoke stacks, and our waterfront industry, in their report?


I can give you many scientific medical reports from urban areas adjacent to industrial sites that have confirmed just how dangerous it is to live with the products of combustion. Breathing the tiny particles and noxious chemicals that come from combustion cause heart attacks, strokes, asthma, chronic breathing problems such as COPD, and, they contribute to diabetes. Kids who grow up in neighborhoods with industrial air pollution never have perfectly functioning lungs.


These are facts. Why wouldn’t our Health Dept. include anything but wood stoves and smoking in their assessment of lung issues? As a person with asthma, I cannot avoid the pollution from Simpson and Olympic Panel. I can avoid smoking and smokers. And, I am fortunate to rarely need our wood stove. If it’s an air inversion day, I stay in or go to Olympia.


The County Commissioners and Port Commissioners say they are supporting the economic health of the County. I can tell you that the older I get, the more my lungs bother me, the more I go to Olympia to shop to avoid asthma attacks. I’m not the only one. If we build the biomass burners and add to the air pollution here, our politicians will be forcing us to take our money out of local businesses to grocery stores, book stores, jewelers, hardware stores, restaurants and antique stores in Olympia, Union, Belfair and other nearby cities. I don’t like it. I don’t like burning the gas.

When a person dies of COPD, stroke, heart attack, or asthma, their death certificate doesn’t mention how far from the mills they lived, or worked, for how many years… maybe it should. And remember, folks, we are not all created alike; my genetic code may give me lung cancer from whatever source, and not you. My grandfather smoked a pipe all his life and died of liver cancer—who knows if there’s a connection. He also worked at Long Bell for 25 years. My best hope is to keep the odds in my favor and avoid lung irritants as much as possible.

Personally, I think the recent report to the City Commission regarding the poor health of Mason County citizens is, at best, superficial, at worst, a white wash. Get real, Dr. Yu, Ms. Kirkpatrick, the tons of noxious chemicals and particulate material in the air of downtown Shelton do not have no effect on our health. It’s not as easily quantified as obesity or teen pregnancy, but that’s your job.


Get Mason County into an air pollution study with monitors in the downtown and people going door to door asking questions about health. That would be a valid report I’d like to read, not a lot of half truths, fun with statistics and conjecture ending with throwing up your hands saying “nothing can be done because these poor fools eat too much, smoke too much, and are too poor to avoid bad health.” Is their conclusion to bring on the twenty-four jobs—at least you’ll help twenty-four people, (and, maybe injure thousands)? Not good enough.
Mason County does not need Adage or Solomon. We need imagination, leadership, and courage.

Sincerely,

Constance Simpson RN
Shelton

P.S. Commissioner Erickson—what the heck? Less public notice would be antidemocratic, or don’t you care any more?

ANNUAL EDC LUNCHEON AWARDS 2/11/11


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Jack Miles


Excerpt from:
Green File: EDC Luncheon

The seventh annual luncheon of the Economic Development Council of Mason County was held last Friday at the Alderbrook Resort in Union.

About 70 people attended the luncheon, which was held in a downstairs ballroom in the resort of the banks of scenic Hood Canal.

Director Matt Matayoshi got the event rolling by presenting three annual awards. Those awards went to:
* Peggy Zamzow, who received the Leadership Award in recognition for her work and advocacy for a drag race venue.

* Steve Bloomfield, who received the Excellence Award for his support of the EDC.

* And Mason County Commissioner Lynda Ring-Erickson, who received an award on behalf of the county commission for the Belfair Wastewater Project (a $46-million project) and others.
The luncheon's keynote speaker was James Evans, Washington State EDC lobbyist.

Link to complete article:
http://masoncountydailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=882:green-file-edc-luncheon-&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=106

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Speaker Boehner: Keep Your Hands Off the EPA

LETTER AND PETITION FROM LCV

Last week, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for completely abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency.

This week, Republican leaders in the House have taken a big step toward making the Gingrich plan to eliminate the EPA a reality by slashing funding for environmental and public health safeguards in their proposed funding measure.

We cannot allow Dirty Coal and Big Oil – and their allies in Congress – to dismantle the EPA.

Tell Speaker Boehner: Keep your dirty hands off the Environmental Protection Agency. Click here to sign the petition.

The Republican leadership in the House is calling for a 30 percent cut to the EPA’s budget – the largest cut in 30 years. Such draconian cuts would jeopardize the water we drink and air we breathe, endangering the health and well-being of all Americans.

In addition to these draconian cuts, the House proposed funding measure also includes sneak attacks on our bedrock environmental laws. It would prevent the EPA from closing loopholes in the Clean Water Act that would jeopardize the drinking water for 117 million Americans. Additionally, the plan would prevent the EPA from enforcing common sense safeguards in the Clean Air Act that curb harmful carbon pollution and hold corporate polluters accountable.

Tell Speaker Boehner: Keep your dirty hands off the Environmental Protection Agency. Click here to sign the petition.

These additional provisions have nothing to do with funding the government or creating jobs, but are part of a long sought agenda by the nation's biggest polluters. But should we really be surprised? Speaker Boehner has received more than $1 million in campaign cash from Dirty Coal, Big Oil and other energy interests during his career in Congress.

Dirty energy’s allies are trying to dismantle the EPA – we cannot let these attacks go unanswered. Help us demonstrate the depth and breadth of public support for defending the EPA’s ability to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and lands we enjoy. Our goal is 24,000 petition signers in 24 hours. Click here to sign the petition.

Sincerely,

Gene Karpinski
President
League of Conservation Voters


LETTER FROM LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

The House of Representatives has unveiled a spending bill that will roll back and defund programs that control life-threatening pollution. This legislation will effectively stop the EPA from protecting America’s most vulnerable groups, such as seniors and children, in favor of protecting the bottom line of big polluters.

Take action now to tell your Representative to oppose any legislation that would block or prevent action to clean up our air and protect the most vulnerable Americans. For decades the EPA has protected the health of children, seniors and all the rest of us from dangerous pollutants through the Clean Air Act. In just the last twenty years, carbon monoxide, which negatively affects those with heart and lung diseases, has been cut by seventy percent.

TAKE ACTION

1. Contact your Representative now and tell him or her to oppose any legislation that would block or prevent action to clean up our air and protect the most vulnerable Americans. You can also call your Representative at 202-225-3121.

2. Send this alert to other concerned citizens -- your grassroots network, your friends and coworkers. Encourage them to contact their elected leaders.